Digital Research Tools

There are a lot of institutions doing wonderful work to compile research sources, first person narratives, and photographs.  Thank you to all those who have invested time and resources into scanning, Metadata-ing, logging, organizing, fundraising, and making this history accessible!  Here are some of the websites that anyone can use to browse around or dig deep into South Dakota history.

This is only a sample… Share your favorite sites, and your favorite finds!

South Dakota State Historical Society Digital Archives. From their site: “The South Dakota Digital Archives was launched in January 2012 by the South Dakota State Archives to provide digital access to unique historical records. This site features materials such as photographs, reports and other media from the archives collections.  Enjoy your virtual trip into South Dakota history.”

Northern State University Digital Collections. Includes materials from Harriet Montgomery Water Resources Collection, SD Germans from Russia Collection, NSU History Collection, Aberdeen Area Historical Resources Collection, Genealogy Collection, Eureka Pioneer Museum Collection, Frederick Historical Collection, and Sisseton Agency.

Digital Library of South Dakota. Includes collections from Black Hills State, Dakota State, Dakota Wesleyan, Northern State, SD School of Mines & Technology, SDSU, and USD.  NOTE: the schools individual archives websites have a ton of great information and finding aids.

Siouxland Heritage Museums.  From the collections of the Old Courthouse Museum and Pettigrew House Museum.

Center for Western Studies.  The CWS is located at Augustana College in Sioux Falls.  So far they’ve uploaded materials from their Historic Sioux Falls Slide Collection, the Blue Cloud Abbey-American Indian Culture Research Center Collection, and the Dr. Paul A. Boe-Wounded Knee II Papers.

Carnegie Resource Center, Mitchell.  A few smaller institutions are also doing great work to make materials available.  The Mitchell historical society has photos, captioned images from Daily Republic pieces, and a Then-and-Now site.

Biodiversity Heritage Library.  An international collections with lot of great primary sources for South Dakota environmental history and history of science.  Pulls from the US National Agricultural Library, Smithsonian Field Books, and many more.

The Library of Congress Digital Collections.  An amazing amount of materials including the FSA/OWI photographs taken during the New Deal, map collections, congressional records, veterans history project, American Memory, and prints/photographs.


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